Helping Mobile Operators to Maximize Revenues & Protect Margins for Android Portfolio

Woman using smartphone

Today, we unveiled our strategic partnership with Samsung to empower mobile network operators (MNOs) and the wider telco ecosystem to curb losses and grow revenues. For us, this marks a key milestone for our MNO device security platform, but this is significant for our partners and customers - they now have a single console to manage their entire Android portfolio.

Lets put the deal in context:

MNOs – managing revenue assurance for financial growth

Mobile operators face mounting pressures on revenue and margins. The global pandemic has seen retail operations disrupted, consumers defaulting on payments, non-existent customer acquisition, and surging fraud. All this has compounded already squeezed margins.

In parallel, they are managing increasing investment in 5G rollouts as well as balancing a complex regulatory environment. Mobile devices are also increasingly valuable, driving the need for subsidies and funding, and making the devices themselves even more appealing for theft and fraudulent activity.

Out of date device and revenue management tools

In working to mitigate revenue shrinkage and grow revenues, many MNOs currently have little to work with. From a device lock / unlock perspective, manual unlock codes are severely limited. They do not protect devices pre-activation which is why we see large-scale theft in the supply chain. They are also easy to hack, are frustrating for consumers and expensive to administer for the MNOs.

Thinking about debt management, the current approach of text messages and calls from customer care is not working, alienates customers and is, again, expensive for MNOs. And even when carriers do decide to cut customers off or ‘lock’ phones when they are lost or stolen, IMEI blacklists are easily circumvented by moving devices to other countries.

A single platform to manage entire Android portfolios

In recent years, Trustonic and Samsung have been working in parallel to address many of these challenges for MNOs, by enabling them to manage and protect smartphones and tablets throughout the supply chain. As ever with technology, fragmentation happens before convergence. MNOs have been calling out for a unified solution to manage their entire Android portfolio and, thanks to this strategic partnership, they finally have it.

By integrating our device locking platform with Samsung’s device-embedded Knox security platform MNOs have a single cloud platform that supports multiple use cases. This ranges from hardware-backed device lock and securing devices in the supply chain through to protecting device subsidies and manage device payments in a more nuanced way.

Better device management for loss prevention & revenue growth

The Trustonic platform enables better management of risk to balance the needs of internal stakeholders. Device teams want to sell more handsets to meet targets, while finance and fraud teams need to proceed with caution. The confidence that is offered by hardware-backed control helps everyone do their jobs.

With greater control over the full android device portfolio, operators can maximize revenues, protect margins. Let’s take a few examples. Revenue growth: the ability to offer contracts to more people who would currently be deemed too risky opens up a broader customer base. Additionally, by having more control over handsets, operators can also lower prices to compete for subscriptions without increasing risk.

engage the customer through on-screen messages

To protect margins, operators can now directly engage the customer through on-screen messages and by restricting device functionality to nudge behavior and resolve payment arrears. The ability to put the device beyond all reasonable use provides the additional risk safety net for operators. Organized crime smartphone trafficking is a big problem in some markets; If a pallet of devices is stolen, just by providing the IMEI numbers of the devices, we can put the devices beyond use and they have no resale value. Insurance fraud can be eliminated as, again, devices cannot be used if lost, stolen or attempted to be sold on the grey market.

From a customer care point of view, there are benefits here too. No more calls to unlock phones. No more calling customers for payments. These teams can focus on supporting those customer who need it, protecting the brand and retaining customers.

What’s next?

This marks the start of an extremely exciting phase of our growth. Our security platform is already deployed by some of the world largest mobile operators and manages over 70m devices and counting. With an initial commitment of 1m devices, which we will look to scale quickly, we are now collaborating with Samsung on commercial and go to market activities globally to help MNOs to better balance the needs of their businesses to recoup and grow revenues. All without increasing risk.

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